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Old 09-19-2012, 05:14 PM   #1
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Default $800 1986 Nissan D21, should I?

I was hoping for some advice from people who know trucks.

I am looking at buying this truck for $800. For some reason he says the mileage is "unkown" but claims it runs well and has a new clutch in it. "Not leaking oil yet..".

The reviews I found sound like they last quite a while but I trust the opinions on here more than a random google search.

Any advice??

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Old 09-19-2012, 05:19 PM   #2
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Well if its the 3.0L they last forever. I have a 90 WD21 Pathfinder with 307K on it now and still running strong.

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:35 PM   #3
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Mileage unknown could be a broken speed-o, cable, sender. My wife's car has a connector problem that prevents the speed-o from running some of the time. Body rust is the biggest problem, the double-wall design tends to trap water.

I have a neighbor with the 4-banger. He's had it forever and being a farmer, doesn't fix things unless they are really broken. His' has some rust, but this is Oregon and it's been outside for over 25 years.

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #4
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Well at that age and likely mileage, any car could have a host of issues. But in general it seems the Japanese have made quality long lasting vehicles. Like any certain years/models have their common issues. Sometimes once you get past 15 model years old it might become hard to get replacement parts, but they might still be around in junkyards.

For absolutely every model car out there, there is a forum somewhere with dedicated die hard fans, they would be the ones to ask, who would know exactly what the common issues are on that model and year.

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:39 PM   #5
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I've got a 93 D21 4cyl 4x4, the truck is tough as nails.

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:40 PM   #6
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As for parts, look at www.rockauto.com. They seem to have almost everything you could ever need.

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Old 09-19-2012, 06:58 PM   #7
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I appreciate your replies!

I will definitely look for excessive body rust. The add I put up said "it doesn't need to be pretty" and he described it as "ugly" heh.

I read a few reviews saying it had no issues till 250K and then it was a few random problems but I read a few more and someone claimed they were at 417K stock parts.

I am meeting with him in a few days just to check it out first.

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Old 09-19-2012, 07:59 PM   #8
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That D21 is the first year of that truck. Just FYI the D21 and WD21 are almost identical under the skin. Aside from the body the only difference is the body mounts on the frame and a few minor truck vs SUV things. Engine/trans/transfer case/axles are all the same. Solid rigs. Tough to go wrong unless its just a total pile of worn out unmaintained junk.

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:37 PM   #9
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I have an old truck as well. I have a 1984 Toyota landcruiser.

I'd say look for oil leaks even if the PO says there aren't any. Drive it until it's warm then look underneath and see. Take a look at the engine while it's running and make sure it's not leaking either.

Make sure the 4x4 works if it has it. Also drive with 4x4 on if you can and check the front axle/pumpkin for leaks. Sometimes those old 4x4's can be a little tricky especially if it has manual 4x4. DON'T SHIFT INTO 4X4 ON DRY PAVEMENT IF IT'S A MANUAL 4X4.

Make sure it shifts smooth while driving and that the clutch doesn't chatter.

If it has to make sure it can pass emissions.

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Old 10-12-2012, 12:40 AM   #10
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Long story short I bought an awesome 1995 Chevy Cheyenne 2500. It came with a steel rack, diamond plate tool box, heavy duty suspension, and darn near new 10ply tires all around. $1200

This truck is awesome. It was a fleet truck and I bought it from the fleet mechanic, they retired it a few years ago and he bought it. The seller "claimed" a rebuilt engine + tranny 30K miles ago but who knows how true that is, the odometer reads 374K. In any case, the truck runs incredibly aside from it being extremely slow in first gear and is picky about how you have to get it to shift up from 1st to 2nd (automatic).

I changed the oil, tranny fluid, air filter, and fuel filter so far but will check the plugs and wires next week. Anything I missed?

I want to build a DIY canopy for it that uses the rack as some support because I do not want to drop the rack (I might sacrifice the tool box if I have to to complete this though).

When I figure out how I want to make it happen I will be starting a new thread and posting pics. I will be doing some research but if you guys have any ideas or links I would appreciate it!

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